Friday, December 17, 2010


On this site, I've published lists of my favorite movies for each decade.  Some of the movies I’ll mention will have been commercial successes and some will be unknown.  It’s impossible not to be occasionally swayed by popular sentiment.  I do not claim that these movies I list will be the best that have ever been made.  With more than 20,000 movies released in America alone since Birth of a Nation was released in 1915 (a personal favorite of Woodrow Wilson), I’m unable to cast judgment on all of those films.  A few reviewers have tried.  Maybe I’d try too if I made their six figure income to do so.  But even then with a large amount of time at my disposal I wouldn’t be able to remember (nor would I want to) all of the movies that are available.
With all of the varied critiques, the awards and reports of box office receipts, it is difficult to not be influenced by outside opinion concerning what is good and what is bad.  It’s far too easy to pass off someone else’s judgment as one’s own.  Whether it’s intentional or not, I often hear the same words and phrases used to praise or criticize a particular movie.  On the other hand, it’s incredibly easy to become snobbish about what one is reviewing and forget that every movie at least has potential.  Just because a movie is made in Hollywood, just because it’s lowbrow or appeals to the masses does not mean it lacks merit.  Pauline Kael used to criticize many movies that did not fit her New Yorker readership.  This was the same Pauline Kael so out of touch with the American mainstream that she woke up shocked one morning in November of 1972 to find out that Nixon had defeated McGovern in the Presidential election.  An intelligent observer would have seen that coming.
I’d like your comments.  If you would like to know more about any movie that I mention, I will review or at least summarize what I think about it.  I’m also open to recommendations.  As I mentioned, there are still a number of quality movies I haven’t seen.
October 27, 2006 
©  Robert S. Miller 2006

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